Black powder in a 22lr?


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tweakkkk
December 28, 2008, 02:36 AM
*****DISCLAIMER*****

I like to tinker and experiment so understand that I'm not striving for anything practical here - I know threads pop up about reloading rimfires and the answer is always "no" or "why would you want to do that since 22lr is cheap?"... I'm trying for something specific.

=======================================

I have a basement 60 feet across, good enough for a little target practice with a 22lr. And even though I do live in the country, neighbors are close enough that it really is not polite to sit outside and fire off rounds on a regular basis, so the basement really is convenient, especially when its cold.

When everybody else is out of the house, I can shoot cheap bulk 22lr and bother absolutely nobody. But that happens rarely, and I've been trying to find a way to shoot when others are here that won't get on anybody's nerves. Most subsonic ammo is still rather loud indoors, and tears the hell out of newspaper backstops, making a mess.

=================================

Specialty ammo like CB is expensive (comparatively) so here is what I came up with:

(1) I pull the bullets from standard-velocity Federal .22 that I can get $15/brick

(2) Dump out the powder

(3) Scavenge a bottle of brush-on glue that comes with fake nails

(4) Brush the glue onto the skirt rim of a .22 air rifle pellet

(5) Place the pellet atop one of the .22lr cases


The pellets are light enough that the primer alone can fire them, being 14gr compared to the 30-40gr of a bullet.

========================================

Yes, this does work. I got the idea after shooting some Aguila Super Colibri, which fires a wee 20gr lead bullet @ 500 fps using only primer compound, being nearly silent. It is somewhat expensive however, and the 20gr lead bullet is about as long as it is wide, being more like a disk with horrible accuracy. I figured a 14gr match pellet would be faster, flatter, and stabilize better since it has a skirt that keeps it pointed forward in flight. And if I could use cases from cheap bulk ammo, it would be very inexpensive to do.

- The good news is that it is cheap and the pellets DO stabilize, keeping a good line.

- The bad news is that they are VERY slow and vary wildly in velocity. Drop at 10 yards goes anywhere between 4-8 inches! They are so slow they tear the target rather than leave a clean hole.


After examining different types of 22lr cases, I found that the Super Colibri, even though it only has primer, has a LOT of it. Normal 22lr has just enough to ignite the powder, and the amount is not very consistent. I fired a pellet using the primed case from the Super Colibri and it shot flat and straight and was still nearly silent.

=========================================

Here is where I need the expert advice of the forum members --

(1) Can I use a small amount of black powder to up the velocity, safely? I don't need consistent numbers out of a chrono, it just needs to be fast enough that drop isn't a big factor over 15 yards. I figure black powder can be loaded in low pressure levels that are safe.

(2) Is there a way to increase the strength of the primer? I've read about using ground up match heads, but a bulk chemical primer would be great if anybody knows of one.

(3) Are there any gunpowders that might work? My problem with this has been that the glued-on pellets don't build up the same kind of pressure in the case that heeled .22 bullets do, so the powder isn't ignited by the primer and just spits out the barrel with the pellet. I also worry that experimenting with light loads of powder meant for a centerfire will cause the ignition to go high-order rather than deflagrate, which would definitely not be good in a dinky little .22


Thanks for any help here. It's been kinda fun messing with this idea. I just want to be sure that its conceivable to ignite a few grains of black powder with a lowly rimfire primer before I go buy a bottle of the stuff.

That failing, any other ideas on how to get this to work are more than welcome.

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ReloaderFred
December 28, 2008, 02:47 AM
Welcome to the forum.

A short answer to your inquiry about black powder is that you will get smoke, even from a small amount of it. The smoke stinks like rotten eggs, and unless you have a really good exhaust system in your basement, the rest of the family is going to be very, very unhappy with you.

My suggestion would be to scrap the ideas you've enumerated and just buy a good quality pellet gun and shoot to your heart's content.

Hope this helps.

Fred

WNTFW
December 28, 2008, 03:09 AM
Air Rifle - Reloader Fred said it.

2RCO
December 28, 2008, 03:16 AM
RWS or GAMO is what I would buy. Black powder=a smelly and bit unhealthy basement environment.

moosehunt
December 28, 2008, 03:24 AM
But the lad wants to shoot his .22, not buy something else. I agree that the black powder will yield smoke that some of the housemates don't appreciate. It's probably not a good plan. How about tinkering with replacing the original powder in reduced quantities, quite possibly coming up with what is desired, or close to such. What you would be doing is creating a .22 short or maybeso a CB in a LR case. Might work pretty good.

fireman 9731
December 28, 2008, 03:51 AM
I think moosehunt has a good idea, just put a tad of the powder from the bullets you pulled back in the case...

Afy
December 28, 2008, 07:33 AM
Or you could try and double layer of sand bags. At your own risk through.

Galil5.56
December 28, 2008, 09:01 AM
What are you doing for ventilation? When I shot .22 pistol in my basement, I used two fans sucking the air out of two windows. As far as a backstop, I used a bag/bags of cheap cat litter. Stops them right now, and really was pretty tidy. Just package tape over the group of holes in the paper, and shoot again.

StrawHat
December 28, 2008, 09:44 AM
If you are looking for quiet target practice, CCI and Aguilla both market CB caps that are noisless when fired. CCI puts them up in the Long case so they are easier to use.

If you want to tinker, I use air rifle pellets in a 22 Hornet case with just a primer. Great for starlings and fairly quiet. The pellets can be used in any 22 CF casing. Just primer, no powder.

Never tried it in the rimfire case.

fastbike
December 28, 2008, 11:03 AM
Why don't you just get a permit for a silencer?

Jim Watson
December 28, 2008, 11:11 AM
Sounds like a wild scheme to me, but in the interest of safety...

1. Black powder will be safe. I don't know if it will be effective, one of the old time writers said that the "gallery loads" with a round ball and a light load of black were dirty even by BP standards and not very consistent. The original .22 BP loads were 4 to 5 grains, your application would call for less. You do have a powder scale, don't you? You do know how to clean up after black powder, don't you?

2. Match heads and other improvisations are not a good idea. Do not put crap other than gunpowder in your ammunition.

3. As moosehunt says, you can replace part of the factory smokeless powder. It will not present a risk of going "high order." The amount will be half a grain or less. You do have a powder scale, don't you?
I don't know what they use in .22 lr, something faster, if available, might be better with your pellets. There are very few powders faster and easier to ignite than Bullseye. Col. Charles Askins loaded one grain of Bullseye in the .221 Askins Centerfire. You would use less. You do have a powder scale, don't you?

I emphasize the use of a powder scale because you will be operating at very low charge weights and an improvised dipper will not be very precise.

Carl N. Brown
December 28, 2008, 12:06 PM
Aguila Colibri uses primer compound only but they use enough primer compound to give a consistent velocity.

Regular .22s have enough primer compund to ignite the powder charge: that is not necessarily enough to drive a bullet or pellet nor consistent in strength to be accurate if it does.

And given the number of duds and squib loads in "bulk pack" you'd be better off "biting the bullet" and paying for Aguila Colibri or CCI CB Longs for infoor practice.

And I would not shoot black powder indoors unless I had a good exhaust fan setup.

Centerfire primers are more powerful than rimfire, so that .22 hornet with primer and pellet is an interesting idea.

rcmodel
December 28, 2008, 02:14 PM
I would not want the black powder mess in any of my .22 rifles.
Or in the basement either for that matter.

Unless completely taken apart and scrubbed with hot water every time you shoot, your gun will rather quickly turn bright red with rust!

Along with any tools or other stuff in the basement.

rcmodel

tweakkkk
December 28, 2008, 06:28 PM
"How about tinkering with replacing the original powder in reduced quantities, quite possibly coming up with what is desired, or close to such. What you would be doing is creating a .22 short or maybeso a CB in a LR case. Might work pretty good."

"Just put a tad of the powder from the bullets you pulled back in the case..."


I tried that. The problem is that the pellets are on top of the case, and not seated in the case. Without a way to put heeled bullets back in the case, the powder doesn't reach enough pressure to ignite. I could try a stronger glue I guess.

"If you are looking for quiet target practice, CCI and Aguilla both market CB caps that are noisless when fired. CCI puts them up in the Long case so they are easier to use."

I have a few boxes of both. They're just not economical to shoot in large quantities. Plus I like the challenge of getting this idea of mine to work. I can double my fun with the tinkering AND the shooting.

If you want to tinker, I use air rifle pellets in a 22 Hornet case with just a primer. Great for starlings and fairly quiet. The pellets can be used in any 22 CF casing. Just primer, no powder.

Yep that's a good idea. I've been looking into getting a target rifle. I was debating between a .223 or a .308 (or something based on the .308 case) and just thought that there's no incentive for a .223 here because I hardly get to the range even once a month, so the cheaper ammo wouldn't help me out that much. But I guess I could take these .22 pellets and put them in the .223 case with a primer and have a blast. Well not a blast. More like a "pop".

Or alternatively, buy .25 pellets and put them in a .243 case... hmmm

Great idea!

"What are you doing for ventilation?"

Nothing. 5 feet from where I shoot is the central air unit, which is Geothermal. It pulls the air in, and sends it outside the house to circulate in underground air ducts, which stay at a constant temperature since they are buried. This really cuts down heating and cooling costs. It also means the air gets very diluted before being brought back into the house, where it passes through an additional filter, so no worries about the fumes.

"Why don't you just get a permit for a silencer?"

My state just legalized suppressors this May. AFAIK state officials have a mountain of permits and paperwork to process and if I applied now I could probably have one some time by 2011.

There are very few powders faster and easier to ignite than Bullseye. Col. Charles Askins loaded one grain of Bullseye in the .221 Askins Centerfire. You would use less. You do have a powder scale, don't you?

Well I make my own sports supplements, and have a scale I use for weighing out doses... I guess I could wash it really well. Probably don't want Creatine in my .22lr shells or gunpowder in my capsules that I take when I hit the gym.

My neighbor has a full reloading setup, I'm sure he'd let me use his scale if I had to.


Thanks for the ideas. I'm thinking blackpowder is looking less and less viable.

I don't know, I have some old bottlerockets around here somewhere. I'll rip a few open and try them in the .22 cases. If I don't respond here its probably because I am sans fingers.

Peace

rcmodel
December 28, 2008, 06:33 PM
Wait a minute!

Buying perfectly good .22LR ammo to pull the bullets and reload with newly purchased air rifle pellets & Crazy Glue is saving you money over Aguila CB caps?

And you don't think sucking your whole underground geothermal duct system full of Lead dust and Cyanoacrylate adhesive fumes is a problem?

Bottle-Rocket powder?

This whole thread just sounds like a very bad idea to me!

Get a spring-piston air rifle and get on with your life.

rcmodel

Jim Watson
December 28, 2008, 07:07 PM
Bottle rocket powder is not gunpowder. File that one under match heads and leave it alone.

ReloaderFred
December 28, 2008, 07:07 PM
I think he's going to put his eye out.........

Fred

tweakkkk
December 28, 2008, 07:41 PM
Bottle rocket powder is not gunpowder. File that one under match heads and leave it alone.

Too late. I knew it wasn't black powder, much less gunpoweder, but I figured it would at least clue me in as to whether black powder would be ignited by the .22 primer.

The thing I didn't notice when I was loading the powder into the case was that they were the night time bottle rockets. Ya know, I may be the first person to have a rifle that shoots comets. The trail of sparks behind the pellet was really pretty!

Buying perfectly good .22LR ammo to pull the bullets and reload with newly purchased air rifle pellets & Crazy Glue is saving you money over Aguila CB caps?

Yep. 500 rd brick of Federal 22lr for $15 and 500 pellets for $3 beats buying a 500 rd brick of Aguila Super Colibri for $32. And with the Federal I can use it two different ways. I dump the powder and use it for silent indoor plinking or leave it as-is for every other use.


And you don't think sucking your whole underground geothermal duct system full of Lead dust and Cyanoacrylate adhesive fumes is a problem?

No not really. Lead dust isn't a major concern since the bullets are light and low-velocity. Nothing left in the barrel and they're hardly even deformed by my backstop. And the amount of glue being used is a tiny drop, plus its being filtered and the ppm is very low.

Get a spring-piston air rifle and get on with your life.

I have one, albeit .177 and not .22 --- the point is not that I need to shoot a whole bunch. The point is when I have time to waste, I'd rather "waste" it by coming up with something new rather than sitting around blowing through brick after brick of Aguila and not learning anything from it.

fireflyfather
December 28, 2008, 09:24 PM
Um, you ARE aware that primer compound has this wonderful stuff called lead strypnate? It's not so much the lead bullets you need to worry about: It's the primer residue. That's why the "lead free ammo" uses special primers with larger flash holes in the case.

That's why indoor ranges have big fans that push the air from behind you downrange: To push the lead strypnate from the primers downrange instead of letting it sit in a haze around the firing line.

If you are still considering shooting indoors without adequate ventilation, I hope to hell you don't have any kids in the house, and that you get your lead levels monitored regularly.

20nickels
December 28, 2008, 11:42 PM
tweakkkk,
I have been through this. I know that you want to shoot this particular gun in .22, but my suggestion is just to get a quality airgun. Ammo indoors is extremely dirty and a health hazard to you, housemates, and anyone that moves in after you.

SlamFire1
December 28, 2008, 11:47 PM
And you don't think sucking your whole underground geothermal duct system full of Lead dust and Cyanoacrylate adhesive fumes is a problem?

No not really. Lead dust isn't a major concern since the bullets are light and low-velocity. Nothing left in the barrel and they're hardly even deformed by my backstop. And the amount of glue being used is a tiny drop, plus its being filtered and the ppm is very low.

You have some research or data to support your theory? I have read of the lead levels in the air of indoor shooting ranges. Some have massive air systems to keep the lead content in the air at a safe level. Plenty of lead is blown out a barrel due to friction.

bullseye308
December 29, 2008, 03:04 AM
Why not just use a 38 and some hot glue bullets, or even wax bullets? They are great fun indoors and cheap too.

rcmodel
December 29, 2008, 01:21 PM
Ya know, I may be the first person to have a rifle that shoots comets. The trail of sparks behind the pellet was really pretty!I call BS on that right there!

Either the powder burned, or it didn't.

But it most certainly didn't go down range with the pellet leaving a trail of sparks!

I get the feeling more & more we are being Punk'd by this thread.

rcmodel

moosehunt
December 29, 2008, 02:15 PM
I'm wondering too. I find it hard to believe that putting the bullets back in after reducing the powder would cause the powder not to ignite--not that I'd waste time monkeying with it, but I question that it simply didn't work.

tweakkkk
December 29, 2008, 04:08 PM
The reason the pellet had sparks behind it was because I filled the case with powder from a Silverfox bottlerocket... it's a nightwork, with slow burning flashers mixed in with the charge that goes "bang"... the pellet fired off from the primer, maybe some of the "bang" powder, but the rifle also shot a 10 foot fountain of sparks!



I don't know why the powder from the 22lr cases won't ignite once I pull the bullet. I've tried leaving ALL the powder in as well but it just spits out the end with the pellet. I don't know what powder they're using for the Federal 22 high velocity but its not working for me when I try to glue a pellet on top. I assumed the pellet was too easy for the primer to dislodge and so the powder got pushed out before it had a chance to ignite.

I could try more glue or a glob of hot glue I guess, but I'm cautious about what I try because I don't want to get glue stuck to the rifling of the barrel. That could be bad juju down the line...

moosehunt
December 29, 2008, 04:20 PM
My suggestion (less of the original powder charge) entailed replacing the original bullet, not a pellet.

tweakkkk
December 29, 2008, 04:36 PM
I can't get the heeled bullet back in... that would take a bit of effort and force, and that's not something I want to risk with rimfires.

I tried filling in the mouth of the case with a glob of quick-setting epoxy to fill up the volume of the case that the original bullet would, then placing the pellet. Same result. The pellet came out the barrel with a hard glob of epoxy trailing after it, and unignited powder spitting down the barrel.

I'll try half a grain of Bullseye or another really fast powder. If that doesn't work I'm giving up.

The weird thing I've figure from all this is that it really IS cheaper to shoot pellets with centerfire rifle primers than buy 22lr, especially specialty CB loads.

Now the trick is finding a .223 rifle at a reasonable price, what with the gun buying craze lately.

arcticap
December 29, 2008, 05:04 PM
The Crosman Quest is a decent cheap .22 spring air rifle for about $100 on sale. It shoots pellets at 800 fps. It does have some recoil but at least it works. And there's plenty of pre-compressed air and CO2 models that once set up will last a lifetime. I have storage tanks and guns that use both.
The better pre-charged target rifles and pistols will outshoot most rimfires and won't break the bank. As a matter of fact, they require more trigger discipline since they promote the Oympic sporting events that some of them are designed to compete in.
And if it is repeaters that you want, then those models are available too.
Shooting powders in the house is not ideal.
I try hard to contain just the pellet lead spatter by covering up the bullet trap and shooting into a small hole.
If you don't want to pay for Colibri's but would rather invest in a .223, then you're missing out on what it is that air guns can teach.
The precision shooting techniques, skills & methods are transferable between guns to a greater extent than even reloaded primer ammo can accomplish when compared to shooting the same centerfire gun.
Why? Because recoil is taken out the equation when a shooting a CF with just a primer and pellet. Plus the accuracy won't be there and it will still only be a single shot.
Meanwhile there's air guns that are repeaters that come in tons of configurations that are actually made to shoot the pellets accurately and safely without needing to shoot off primers indoors.
They even make air guns in centerfire calibers!
Lewis & Clark took hard hitting repeating air rifles that shot round balls all the way to the Pacific! There's a series of articles all about antique airguns on the Beeman website.
Good luck, I really do admire your persistence.:)

tweakkkk
December 29, 2008, 05:34 PM
Again, I have an airgun.

The shooting isn't really the point... I wanted to try something new that might be useful to people. I also am a firm believer in elegant simplicity and flexibility. I don't want a pellet rifle, a .22, and a centerfire or three, with several different ammo types for each.

My experiment here was to find out if I can have one rifle that can shoot outdoors and indoors with the same cheap Federal 22lr bricks.

I want one do-all utility firearm, one powder, one type of primer, and the option to change loads to take care of everything I need it for. Being able to shoot 14gr pellets and 80gr soft points from the same weapon is an appealing prospect. Probably will try to find a Saiga in .223 or scout-type bolt rifle.

jjohnson
December 29, 2008, 05:47 PM
Oh, man... I think Reloader Fred nailed it when he wroteI think he's going to put his eye out.........
:what:

Okay, just in the name of science and for speculation only, I was thinking along the same lines about 40 years ago. Mind you, I never had an unscheduled explosion, but did at one time ignite a batch of rocket fuel on my buddy's kitchen stove :eek: which resulted in some smoke damage and a burned pan.:evil:

My thoughts in those days started with the "I wonder if...." line of thinking. One case in particular was gluing a BB on top of a .22 blank. Yep, it worked, but I'm sure even the copper plated BB I used didn't do any favors to the barrel.
If you were to take a Colibri apart, dump a tiny bit of smokeless powder (thereby defeating all the bad things we said about black powder) in there, and put, say, a .22 caliber pellet (airgun pellet) on there, you might have something more or less equal to a good CB cap with none of the quality control, accuracy, repeatability, safety, or anything else that makes so many of us shoot rimfire.:scrutiny:

Don't try this at home, boys and girls. Pondering things like that for the sake of satisfying the curious mind is okay.

Do us a favor, though, and don't write back asking if it's okay to stick powder from a hundred match heads into a 30-06 case and stick a bolt in there. :banghead:

arcticap
December 29, 2008, 06:41 PM
I don't want a pellet rifle, a .22, and a centerfire or three, with several different ammo types for each.


Then what do you call it when you go out and buy .22 pellets to assemble your own specialty rimfire ammo?
Or hand assemble some .223 cases with .22 pellets?
That's not using a single type of ammo either, not to mention the royal pain that they can be to assemble in any meaningful quantity.
I've thought about shooting .22 lr ammo indoors too, and thanks for the reinforcement about how shooting Colibri's and Super Colibri's are really the next best indoor option to airguns.
And the Colibri's only cost about .06 cents each! :rolleyes:
Well, Pedersoli does sell parlor guns that shoot .177 pellets powered by#11 percussion caps.
Look at the Saloon, the Zimmer & the Derringer:

http://www.cherrys.com/ped_pist.htm

http://www.cherrys.com/pedpics/S337a.jpg

http://www.cherrys.com/pedpics/S335a.jpg

http://www.cherrys.com/pedpics/S342a.jpg

They also make a pellet barrel for another expensive competition pistol of theirs, but I've only seen it advertised in Germany.
Why not investigate building a similar caplock rifle or pistol that could shoot .22 airgun pellets with the primer type of your choice? I'm not sure how powerful it would be though even using the powerful #209 shotgun primer. But there have been related experiments:

http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_experiments/parlor_pistol/parlor_pistol.html

http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_experiments/electric_ml/electricml.html

Does anyone have any idea if there would be any headspacing problems using homemade .223 pellet ammo or what the potential velocity might be when shooting the primed cases loaded with .22 pellets?

arcticap
January 11, 2009, 05:19 PM
It's a Derringer that shoots .177 round balls and pellets.
At Cabela's:

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/pod/standard-pod.jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/pod-link.jsp_A&_DAV=MainCatcat20712-cat20817&rid=&indexId=cat20817&navAction=push&masterpathid=&navCount=1&parentType=index&parentId=cat20817&id=0065767

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/content/Pod/06/57/67/p065767sq01.jpg




http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=5234900#post5234900

Carl N. Brown
January 21, 2009, 02:34 PM
The .22 rimfire started with the Smith & Wesson revolver in the 1850s as a black powder cartridge. .22 short, long, long rifle and .22WRF were all black powder cartridges. When Winchester and Remington introduced their first .22 autoloaders in the 1900s they also introduced prorietary, smokeless powder only cartridges, .22 Remington and .22 Winchester, because black powder was still commonly loaded in .22 long rifle, and black powder and autolaoding actions are a bad mix.

The opening post starts: "*****DISCLAIMER***** I like to tinker and experiment.... " Well, experimenting with black powder .22 is about as retro as I can imagine, and in the long run, it does has some appeal, kinda like loading for a flintlock or cap'n'ball black powder cenerfire cartridge. But I'll limit my urge to trying to develop a good BP load for my Webley revolver.

StrawHat
January 21, 2009, 05:08 PM
If you do get the 223 there is an even easier way to use air rifle pellets in it.

Take your empty case and bore out the primer pocket to accept a shotgun primer. Bore this hole all the way through the head of the case. Now get a short rod ( 5 or 6 inches) and shape the end to hold the skirt of the air pellet. Insert the pellet through the case and into the neck of the 223 casing. Prime with a shotgun primer and you are ready to practice.

Good luck.

Here is something you might find interesting.

http://www.theopenrange.net/forum/index.php?topic=6080.0

Busyhands94
March 25, 2011, 02:19 AM
you could cut the pyrotechnic compound off paper caps and put a few caps worth in there. it will leave few specks of paper in the bore but other than that it is fine.

hancjamk
March 25, 2011, 09:52 AM
I like the cat litter bag idea... If nobodyís home, just put on some ear protection and have at it. Why go through all the trouble of modifying something thatís already been perfected... :confused:

blarby
March 25, 2011, 01:55 PM
a few things not powder related that may help :

Crossman SSP ( Super Sonic Pellet ) for three reasons :

1. The pellet is considerably lighter than a standard lead pellet, and will help with your power to weight ratio.

2. Skirt size : Has a noticeably thicker skirt, for ease of mounting on your cases.

3. Whatever compound/alloy they use to make these pellets...it engages rifling very very well.

BTW, that "nail glue" you've been salvaging is essentially zap-a-gap , a cryo superglue used for modeling....you can purchase it in varying strengths and viscosities to fit your needs....including one that flows almost like water ( which I reckon you could use the snot out of with practice) I use these glues a lot in my modeling.

As for powder, the original 22 powder is great, or perhaps a few flakes of unique ?

I will be following this thread....very interesting !

mdi
March 25, 2011, 02:16 PM
Wow! Glad I didn't ask a simple question. Some of you jumped on the O.P. with both feet!
If you, the O.P., are using a bolt action or single shot, try seating the pellet in the chamber/bore then inserting an empty primed case. Schutzen competetors used to do it all the time, called "Breech Seating"...

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